Items tagged with Programming

Want to scare the life out of a programmer friend? Just utter the words "multi-threading" into their ear - it works every time! Alright - that's a bit of an exaggeration, but writing multi-threaded code is one of the biggest challenges a programmer can ever face. The reason boils down to the fact that for the longest time, everyone wrote code that best-suited single-core processors - which just happened to get faster every year. When we reached the peak of processor frequency a number of years ago, multi-core processors became the only way to move forward. While these CPUs are excellent for getting big jobs done fast, they've proven to be a nightmare for programmers who have to spend a lot... Read more...
Sad days for Blockbuster. The once mighty video rental chain has fallen on hard times in a world where Netflix, VUDU and other video streaming services are proving more affordable and convenient. There was, however, a glimmer of hope. Charlie Ergen had planned to have Dish Network acquire Blockbuster from bankruptcy in April of 2011, and then morph it into a Netflix rival. His master plan was to equip Blockbuster stores with Dish mobile devices that could then be used to stream Blockbuster movies. The plan didn't work out. U.S. regulators weren't willing to immediately approve a waiver for Dish to use its spectrum in new ways, and slowly, time took its toll. Now, according to a Bloomberg report,... Read more...
In America, you can't have your cake and eat it to, but in Scandinavia, you can. Allow us to explain. Throngs of HBO content lovers have requested that HBO allow its HBO Go services to be paid for on a per-user basis, but in America, HBO forces you to have a pay-TV subscription to HBO before it's ever an option. It's one of the longstanding ills of television: you buy the pack of channels, or you get none. But in Nordic lands, things have been rolling a bit differently for some time now, and that's continuing with HBO. The first HBO branded service will be available in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark in the middle of October to bring Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Game of Thrones and the... Read more...
There's something pretty interesting happening in the world of online programming: original content. While Hulu and Netflix were used to simply acting as an online pipe to funnel other programming through, recently they have both decided to start investing in making their own content. In other words, creating programming that can only be seen at one portal or the other. It's possible that this tactic is a method of long-term preservation; their streaming models can be replicated, but get people hooked on original content and you have something that they'll continue to pay for. This week, Hulu is announcing their original programming slate for the first half of 2012. The line-up kicks off on February... Read more...
TV-to-iPad streaming isn't as far-fetched as it once was. Many pay-TV providers have hopped on this bandwagon in a bid to keep customers from cutting the cord, and now even DISH Network is following suit. The company announced today it has enhanced its DISH Remote Access app for the iPad to allow DISH customers to watch thousands of on-demand streaming movies and TV shows. DISH customers who subscribe to the Blockbuster @Home package or select premium movie packages, including HBO and Cinemax, can now watch popular movies, TV shows and kid's programming using the updated DISH Remote Access app on their iPad. Streaming movies and TV shows using the enhanced DISH Remote Access app requires a DISH... Read more...
AMD has just released an updated version of their APP SDK, bringing it up to version 2.5. This latest release features a number of performance enhancements designed to exploit the increased CPU to GPU bandwidth available in the company’s APUs, in some cases achieving effective data transfer rates as high as 15GB per second with the latest AMD A-Series APUs, per the press release. “Improving performance and programmability on AMD platforms is a key initiative for us, and we work closely with developers to help us make the APU the best possible development platform,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, AMD Fusion Experience Program. “With these latest SDK refinements,... Read more...
The second day of the AMD Fusion Developer Summit began with a keynote from Microsoft’s Herb Sutter, Principal Architect, Native Languages and resident C++ guru. The gist of Herb’s talk centered around heterogeneous computing and the changes coming with future versions of Visual Studio and C++. One of the main highlights of the talk was a demo of a C++ AMP application that seamlessly took advantage of all of the compute resources within a few of the various demo systems, from workstations to netbooks.  The application seamlessly switched from using CPU, integrated GPU, and discrete GPU resources, showcasing the performance capabilities of each. Heterogeneous computing capabilities... Read more...
There's no question that Internet TV has changed the entire entertainment landscape. Pay-TV providers don't have the assurances they once had, and now they're branching out and providing all sorts of extra services in an effort to entice consumers to stay who might otherwise ditch cable / satellite and rely solely on Hulu / Netflix for their entertainment fix. DirecTV is obviously a huge player in all of this, and they're certainly working to beef up efforts to keep consumers happy. One of the ways is by launching HBO Go and MAX Go on April 12th, which gives customers who subscribe their TV lineup access to the premium channels on-the-go. It's an extension of their pay-TV offerings, and it's... Read more...
New CUDA 4.0 Release Makes Parallel Programming Easier Unified Virtual Addressing, GPU-to-GPU Communication and Enhanced C++ Template Libraries Enable More Developers to Take Advantage of GPU Computing SANTA CLARA, Calif -- Feb. 28, 2011 -- NVIDIA today announced the latest version of the NVIDIA CUDA Toolkit for developing parallel applications using NVIDIA GPUs. The NVIDIA CUDA 4.0 Toolkit was designed to make parallel programming easier, and enable more developers to port their applications to GPUs. This has resulted in three main features: NVIDIA GPUDirect 2.0 Technology – Offers support for peer-to-peer communication among GPUs within a single server or workstation. This enables... Read more...
If you were wondering exactly how long it would take before 3D content caught up with 3D hardware, it's around a year or so. When 3DTVs started shipping, many consumers were hesitant to buy one; after all, what good is a 3D TV if there's no 3D content to consume? Not very worthwhile at all, as it turns out. But now, 3D Blu-rays are starting to ship en masse, and select 3D sports stations are bringing more and more events into the homes of users (ESPN 3D comes to mind). But there still was no dedicated 3D channel, until today. Sony and Discovery have teamed up with IMAX to launch 3NET, which is described as the first 24/7 3D television network, and it'll be launching in the U.S. next week on DirecTV.... Read more...
Sonic Solutions has been rapidly moving to expand their RoxioNow platform for quite some time; it's definitely been a focal point of the company, and with the heightened level of competition surrounding connected HDTVs, we can understand why. Now, the company has managed a deal with Trident, a company that produces system-on-chips (SoCs) for leading HDTV makers. Basically, this deal allows RoxioNow to be embedded onto any HDTV with a Trident SoC inside, and that's quite a few potential TVs. RoxioNow's platform works to give consumers a wide variety of multi-media content over the Internet, including new-release movies and hit TV shows. With this partnership, it's safe to assume that RoxioNow... Read more...
It looks like it's all over between Netflix and Akamai. Like a bad breakup between a cute couple, it's just hard to watch fall apart. But there's nothing like a rebound, right? And that's what's happening. Akamai is a major streaming service that assists tons of companies with media distribution. But evidently the service isn't up to snuff for Netflix, and as the company shifts towards becoming a more serious streaming contender, that service is becoming more and more important. Level 3 Communications is taking over for the rejected company, now selected to serve as a primary content delivery network (CDN) provider for Netflix. As a result of the deal, Level 3 has accelerated plans to further... Read more...
It's always sad to see a startup, or a good idea, go belly-up. But in this high-pace world of technological innovation, it happens more often than not. It's tough to gain traction in today's world, with one thing after another begging for consumer dollars. Such was the case with Qualcomm's FLO TV. It launched with a huge marketing push, and in theory, the idea was sound. People love television, and people are constantly on the move. So it made sense to think that people may enjoy TV on the go. But the problems were numerous. For one, people didn't seem interested in buying a dedicated portable television. It's one extra device to carry around, and many smartphones these days already have access... Read more...
Ah, so now it all makes sense. Starbucks surprised us all by announcing that the Wi-Fi in all of their corporate stores would be switching from a paid access model to a 100% free access model earlier this year, but there seemed to be no catch at all. It was a curious move. Some suggested that this could be in order to attract more consumers into shops, but it seems like Starbucks has something else in mind as well. The coffee company has now made public a vision for enhancing in-store browsing with a digital network of content, and we suspect that Starbucks may want to get into content sales or distribution all the while. Rodale, Nick Jr. Boost and DonorsChoose.org are three of the first content... Read more...
Well, it's about time. For years now, TiVo has been fighting an interesting problem. They essentially created the DVR service that we know and use today, but they have been struggling forever to make profits and acquire new subscribers. How so? Cable companies were able to duplicate the experience, and although it's not nearly as robust, it's good enough for the vast majority of people. Also, TiVo never had any deals with pay-TV providers, so they were out on their own attempting to upsell people despite regular DVRs being pushed hard by cable companies. It was and is an uphill battle, to say the least. But finally, finally, TiVo has what they have needed from day one: a deal with a cable company.... Read more...
Some have dubbed the latest smartphones "app phones." After all, the redefinition of the smartphone from the days of Windows Mobile and PalmOS has been the sheer number of helpful, effective, yet generally simple apps that are in online markets. Now, with App Inventor for Android, there's a chance that John or Jane Q. Public can write their own. The New York Times reported on Monday that Google has been testing the App Inventor in schools for a year. User testing, the Times said, has been done with the following groups: sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates "who are not computer science majors." Google appears to be aiming this at non-programmers who... Read more...
Yep, it's really happening. 3D content is finally arriving on television sets, which is arguably the last major puzzle piece that in-home 3D had to solve. 3D glasses are here, as are 3D HDTVs. And there's at least some demand for having 3D support around in the home. But if there's no 3D programming to enjoy, what's the use in having the 3D hardware around? DirecTV was well aware of this, and now they're becoming the first major pay-TV provider to launch an actual suite of 3D channels. ESPN 3D was the first actual 3D channel to go live with the start of the World Cup, but now n3D (which is being sponsored by Panasonic) will be a variety of 3D sports and entertainment programming to DirecTV customers.... Read more...
And so it begins. Boxee, which has generally let users access a wealth of free online content from a variety of locations, has finally seen the light: you need premium content (or a great Plan B) to stay afloat in today's environment. The company has been quoted as saying that they aren't planning to make anything from their partnership with D-Link on the Boxee Box, but now that they've opened this window, there's really no turning back. Premium content has arrived on Boxee, and we suspect that more and more of it will continue to arrive. And that's a good thing for everyone, regardless if you plan on buying any of it or not. The company has this week revealed a new partnership with Sonic Solutions,... Read more...
Waiting is a tough, tough thing. Waiting on a new gadget is even tougher. Late last year, the folks at Boxee seemed to think that the Boxee Box (which was being built by D-Link) would be available to consumers in the first half of 2010. It's sort of tough to believe, but the first half of 2010 is just about over. With the latter half quickly approaching, Boxee has issued an update to everyone wondering if we'd see the Boxee Box go on sale in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it will be the case. According to a new post on Boxee's own blog, the original plan was to have the Box out by the end of Q2 (i.e. just about now), but that time-frame "proved overly ambitious."... Read more...
Enjoy watching Hulu? Well, you better go ahead and take the next week off of work in order to catch up on all of those old episodes of your favorite show, because the Free Lunch Parade may be ending. Ever since Hulu was introduced, users and analysts wondered if NBC would be able to keep it free. Users are forced to watch ads during the show, but it's still a pretty great deal for consumers when you look at just how expensive pay-TV is. Recently, rumors about pay-access to Hulu began to gain even more steam, and now it seems like an inevitability that pay access is coming sooner rather than later. According to a new Reuters report that sources a few undisclosed people close to the situation,... Read more...
Did Google miss a critical opportunity? Some might say they did. Google has obviously capitalized on quite a number of market openings, paving the way for true smartphone competition with Android, putting Yahoo! and MSN on their toes with Google search, and putting Yahoo! Mail as well as Hotmail on guard with Gmail. And that's just the beginning. Google is also doing their best to bring cloud applications into the mainstream, with the Google Document suite putting serious pressure on Microsoft's Office suite. But no one needs to tell you that Google is on top of their game. Google is even looking to revolutionize the television industry and content delivery business with Google TV.  In fact,... Read more...
The Internet is widely projected to reach a saturation point in developing nations years before the color television did so last century, but the TV isn't done breaking records and wowing consumers yet. The device that still provides millions of viewers with an outlet for entertainment and a view to the outside world has evolved nicely over the years, and while we're still not sure if 3D HDTVs have what it takes to revolutionize the television landscape once more, there's no doubt at all that high-definition has made, and continues to make, a huge impact. According to a new report listed at the New York Times, "half of the United States is now watching television in high definition, the fastest... Read more...
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